Thief-on-camera pleads guilty to restaurant theft

July 15, 2015 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-05Rehabilitation is already being considered but home detention has been ruled out for a man caught on camera stealing a chef’s bag from the back room at Café Valentino.

Nathan James Wix was arrested after the owner of Café Valentino posted security video footage on Facebook showing him walking through the restaurant’s back door and leaving with the bag containing gear worth $1700.

The Facebook response was huge, and when the footage was provided to the police an officer recognised the man from some time spent in the police cells the previous week.

The 38-year-old was listed as having no fixed abode when he was arrested in March and he was remanded in custody.

He had pleaded not guilty to a series of charges which led to an appearance at a case review session before Judge David Saunders in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.

However, when the police withdrew a charge of possession of tools for taking cars, he changed his pleas to guilty on charges of a house burglary in Addington, theft of an iPhone, theft of the chef’s bag and contents, unlawfully interfering with a car, and a breach of prison release conditions.

Defence counsel Kiran Paima handed Judge Saunders a letter from Wix and told him a request had already been made for counselling to deal with “the underlying issues behind this offending”.

He said: “He is hoping some work can be done as to the background behind this offending, to help him move on.”

He acknowledged that Wix came before the court with “a significant history” of previous offending.

Judge Saunders remanded Wix for a restorative justice assessment and a pre-sentence report.

He said the letter might trigger other suggestions for rehabilitation steps but the court needed also to be concerned about public protection – particularly where house burglaries were involved – and the remand would be in custody.

He said he would not order a report on Wix’s suitability for home detention because it was not a realistic option.

Wix thanked the judge as he was taken back to the cells to await his sentencing on September 2.

 

 

Category: Focus

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